Friday, August 31, 2007

What's in a Name?

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I was just eating some dried plums. I am pretty sure these used to be prunes, but apparently ‘prunes’ isn’t an appealing term anymore. Who wants to eat prunes when we could be eating dried plums?

In this spirit, I am renaming some things in my life. I am no longer going gray. My hair is turning platinum blond. My house isn’t a mess. I’m demonstrating to my family (and any neighbors who happen to pop over) the truth of the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Therefore, I am a law abiding citizen. Lastly, I am not, as some people claim, a crazy cat lady. I am artistic. And I’m Catwoman. Yeah, that’s much sexier.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Great Book Signing

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As faithful readers of my blog know, (Hi Mom!) last Friday I did a book signing with very cool author Tina Ferraro (Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress). It went great. And if you could hear the tone of my voice, which you can’t unless you’re either psychic or schizophrenic, you would hear me saying this with a small amount of surprise. Because I’ve had so many sad and lonely book signings (Okay, there haven’t been that many, but once you have a few they stay very firmly planted in your memory.) it’s always a pleasant surprise when things go well.

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Thank you, my friends for showing up so I didn’t look bad in front of the book store personnel! (This is what really counts. I can now hold my head high the next time I walk into that Barnes and Noble.)

A ton of people from my old Gilbert neighborhood showed up and it was so nice to see them again after being away for 8 years. In fact, I think from now on I’ll say that the best book signings are like funerals—-because all sorts of people from your past turn up to pay their regards. Of course they also had to pay money, and I wasn’t buried at the end, so there are some obvious differences with this metaphor, but you get the idea.

My next book signing will be at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe on November 17th. Mark your calendars. And there will be no need to wear black or bring flowers.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

All In a Day’s Work.

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Today was another typical writing day. I wrote a few pages on my new story. (Tentatively called: The Fairy Godmother’s Guide to Saving Troubled Teenagers.) I looked up gopher facts on the internet, called a gold coin company, called the post office to check postal rates to Ireland, weighed a gallon of milk on the bathroom scale, and did some math.

That’s the thing about writing fiction. You never know what bizarre thing you’ll be researching next. It all came about because I have a leprechaun in the story who wants to be mailed to Ireland along with his pot of gold. The heroine first mistakes him for a gopher (thus I had to see how tall gophers are—5 to 12 inches for those of you who are curious, although to tell you the truth I’m wondering about the accuracy of the 12 inch gopher. I mean, I’ve lived in several different states with gophers. I have yet to see a foot-tall rodent strolling through my yard. Which I suppose is a good thing. They probably eat cats.)

After learning vital gopher facts, I had to call a gold place to see how heavy a pot of gold would be so I could calculate shipping costs. Wow, if you hadn’t realized it before: Gold is really expensive. One pound costs 9,489.60. The nice man at the gold place (hereafter called the gold guy) couldn’t tell me how much a pot of gold weighed, but he did tell me that gold is 20 times denser than water. So, you know in the movies when characters are throwing gold bricks around—it’s all lies. That’s right, Hollywood is not being accurate. Shocking, I know.

The gold guy said that if you had a brick of gold the size of a loaf or bread, (and wouldn’t that be nice since gold is 9,489.60 a pound?) you would not be able to lift it. I suppose that would make it hard to flee with it during an earthquake, hurricane or other natural disaster. So if you are shopping for gold, I wouldn’t recommend the loaf size bricks.

Since gold guy told me that gold is 20 times denser than water, I took a jug of milk (close enough to water) and weighed it on the bathroom scale. It weighed nine pounds. If the pot of gold were half the size of a gallon of milk, it would weigh ninety pounds. Which means that despite what I told my math teacher, I really did need to learn how to do story problems.

I then called the friendly folks at the post office and asked how much it would be to send a ninety pound package to Ireland. I did not mention that the package would also carry a leprechaun, because really, how much can those weigh? Besides, I didn’t want them to hang up on me.

It turns out—just in case you were ever thinking about mailing a pot of gold to Ireland—that they do not send ninety pound packages. Their limit is seventy pounds. Oh well, my pot of gold just shrunk because I am too lazy to call Federal express and see if they will do it.

And yes, these really are how details of a story are decided despite what my English teacher told me about how everything in a story is symbolic. (Don’t fret, literary lovers; Steinbeck, I’m sure would have called Federal Express. He was just that way about writing.)

Tomorrow is a new day. One just wonders who I will be calling next.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Book signing in Mesa/Gilbert AZ

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Hey it’s that wonderful time of year when I do a book signing!
This not only gives me a chance to sign books for fans, but is also a barometer to see who my real friends are. Yes that’s right, friends of mine—we’ll see how many of you show up instead of going to the Donny Osmond concert. Okay, so I never had my own television show and I can’t sing. Still, you love me anyway, right? Right?

(PS Even if you don't like Donny Osmond--and you should, what's wrong with you? You have got to see his White and Nerdy video with Weird Al. Here's the link:
White and Nerdy)

The official date and time is Friday, August 24
6:00-7:00 (the official time is 6:00-8:00 but generally the crowd dies down after an hour and then the book store tells you that you can go home. So what I’m saying here is don’t plan on coming a 7:45, because if there isn’t a continuous stream of people, I probably won’t be there any more.)

At the Barnes & Noble at Val Vista dr. just south of US 60
(The official address 1758 S. Val Vista drive.)

As an extra bonus I will be signing with cool YA author Tina Ferraro who wrote: Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress. I’m thinking the number one use should be to wear it to one of Stephenie Myers gala book events.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Ex-boyfriend Stories/ studies

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Okay, first off I’ve had a few questions about when I’m going to put Ex-boyfriend stories on my website. I still have some coming in, so I’ll keep the contest open for two more weeks. Then it will be tell-all time. Bwahaahaahaa!

Now for another of my pointless observations. (I know you’ve come to rely on me for these, but really, my next blog will be on a writing topic.)

I heard a couple of DJs on the radio talking about a study that said parrots were as smart as five year olds. Ha! What this really shows me is that the people who do these studies don’t have children. Okay, granted maybe parrots can learn shapes, colors, and new words. Can they sneak Otter Pops out of the freezer, open them using only nail clippers, and then hide the evidence underneath the couch cushions? Never. Can they identify any product on the shelf with a Dora logo stamped somewhere on it and then using the powers of manipulation and a sweet expression convince adults to buy it for them? I think not. Can a parrot consistently hide the scotch tape so that you will never find it again? Well, I think you get my drift.

I know many five year olds and all of them are smarter than parrots. In fact most of them can operate the t.v. remote better than I can. Studies. Bah!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Kindergarten Update

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For those of you who are wondering--no, I haven't succumbed to watching day-time TV now that my youngest is at school. However I have caught myself talking to my cats, so I can't claim to be completely well-adjusted. I mean, what's happening to me? She's only been gone a couple of weeks and suddenly I've turned into Doctor Doolittle. Like, I'm trying to provide couples therapy for my pets.

The dog: Woof!
Me: Stop bothering the cat.
The cat: Meow!
Me: I told her to stop, what else do you want me to do?

I am just some funky shoes and a purple scarf away from being an eccentric cat lady.

Sunday, August 05, 2007


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Readers Digest, in one of their weight loss articles, wrote that the average craving only lasts ten minutes. I find that mine last much shorter than that. I mean, really, how long does it take to get the wrapper off an Almond Joy?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

But besides all that, I love the playlist . . .

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With all my reviewing of Harry Potter lately, I realized I have seriously neglected another important avenue of reviewing—specifically reviewing the music my husband just put on my Ipod. Now granted, he put the music on the Ipod unasked, just to be sweet and kind because he knows I am technology-challenged and therefore there is no way on earth that I will ever be able to figure out how to create a playlist. I’m still not even sure how to download songs from Itunes.

So kudos to my husband, who shall hereafter be referred to as TB (Technology Bob*), for his thoughtful gesture. However, after 21 years of marriage he still isn’t clear on the songs I like. You’d think he’d know my favorites since it's my habit to put on a CD to the exact song I like, hit the repeat button, and listen to the song play over and over again until the rest of the family is weeping. Then I take off the CD with a disgusted sigh and proclaim, “What’s wrong with you people? It’s a good song!”

Seriously, I have many CDs where I haven’t even heard the rest of musician’s songs.

Anyway, so here are a couple of highly enlightened comments on the music:

1) You have to hand it to Rod Stewart. What other person could make a career in the music business with a voice that sounds like he is in perpetual need of a cough drop? That said, even a better voice wouldn’t save most of his songs. Most of them make me run shrieking to the radio in order to change the station.

That one that starts out, “Wake up Maggie, I’ve got something to tell you . . .” Ahhh! I’m shrieking now just thinking about it. Ditto for Forever Young; Do You Think I’m Sexy; (No, actually I don’t) and Young Turks. (Turks? What does that even mean? I’m envisioning little turkeys. And besides, does Rod Stewart ever even use the word ‘turks’ in the song or did he just through it into the title to confuse people?)

With all that said, a musician is bound to get lucky over the years and actually record a few good songs. I do like his songs, Some Guys Have All the Luck. (Probably because this was a remake from another artist) and The Rhythm of My Heart.

TB put Forever Young on my Ipod. (In his defense though, he may have been subconsciously influenced by the fact that I am forever whining about getting wrinkles.)

This is where being technology-challenged is a pain, because I don’t know how to delete the song from my playlist and now every time I hear it come on I may be tempted to throw my Ipod in a bucket of water in order to exorcise the Rod Stewart demons.

2) I love the song I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You by Savage Garden. I've listened to that song so often that not only I, but the entire family including the dog, know the words by heart.

So my husband put The Animal Song by Savage Garden on my Ipod. Granted it is a cute song. Catchy beat. The chorus is:

Cause I want to live like animals
Careless and free like animals
I want to live
I want to run through the jungle
the wind in my hair and the sand at my feet

The problem with the song is that it engenders way too much thought.

First of all, even though the guy supposedly is saying the word, “animal” it never, not once, sounds like the word “animal”. Listen to the song and I promise you will hear the singer say, “I want to live like cannibals.”

Which, you know, gives the song an entirely new meaning. Like yeah, I bet somebody is running through the jungle—running to get away from you!

The title: Savage Garden suddenly makes a lot more sense now, doesn't it?

Plus, even if he did write the lyric to say, “animals” what is he thinking? Has he ever seen the way animals live? I have a ton of animals and thus far I’m not very impressed with their lifestyle. What does the singer think is appealing—the way animals lay around on the floor all day, the way they lick themselves clean, or perhaps it’s the way they keep leaving half eaten lizards on my patio?

Sorry, Savage Garden, I’m happy to live like people.

*Not his real name, if you haven’t already guessed as much.